Skip to main content

News from the May Meeting of Trent University’s Board of Governors

May 15, 2018

Board Applauds Successful Campaign, Appoints 2018/19 Vice-Chairs, Approves Balanced Budget & Appoints Rod Taylor as Governor Emeritus

The Trent University Board of Governors held its fifth regular meeting on May 11, 2018 at the Student Centre at the University’s Symons Campus in Peterborough. At its meeting, the Board heard a presentation on the successful completion of the Unleash the Potentialcampaign, and applauded the exemplary results of the campaign which exceeded its goal and raised $56.8 million.

Board Approves Balanced Budget for 2018/19

At its May meeting, the Board approved a balanced budget for 2018/19 with $2.1 million in new investments to fund strategic initiatives. Having eliminated its cumulative deficit in fiscal 2016/17, the University projects a balanced budget based on growing enrollment building on the 2017/18 results that exceeded enrollment targets. 

In approving the budget, the Board passed a tuition fee revenue rate increase of 3% for domestic students in accordance with the Ministry Tuition Fee Framework for 2018/19. An increase of 5% for new international students will allow revenue in excess of the 3% increase to be applied to international support services and financial aid to further international student success.

New Vice-Chairs Appointed for 2018/19 

The Board approved the appointment of two new vice-chairs of the Board of Governors. Armand LaBarge and Robyn Jacobson will serve for a one-year term from July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019. 

Dr. Robyn Jacobson holds the degrees of B.Com, LL.B., LL.M., and Ph.D. Her first degrees were awarded in South Africa and her Ph.D. is from York University. Her background is in law, university teaching and administration, and conflict management. She lectured in law for over 10 years, and has also held the following senior university positions: Professor, Academic Registrar, Director of the Law School, and Director of Academic Integrity. Dr. Jacobson loves teaching and, despite her various responsibilities, continues to teach a university course in mediation. Dr. Jacobson is a Mediator, Facilitator and Conflict Management Consultant; she started Managing Conflict in Education to provide training and coaching in conflict management and to conduct mediations, facilitations, and conflict assessments in the education sector. She also focuses on workplace and community disputes, emphasizing restorative processes. She serves on the Board of Directors of ADR Institute of Ontario. Dr. Jacobson's passion for education and conflict management is manifested in her writings. She co-authored the book: Managing Conflict in Schools: A Practical Guide(LexisNexis), and her doctoral dissertation was titled Managing Conflict and Resolving Disputes Involving Students on University Campuses: The Present and the Future. Dr. Jacobson's three-year appointment on the Trent University Board of Governors began July 1, 2016. 

Armand La Barge began his career with York Regional Police in 1973 and in 2002 he was appointed Chief of Police, a position he held until his retirement in December 2010. Chief (Ret.) La Barge served as the President of the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police, the Ontario Director of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police and he was an associate member of the First Nations Chiefs of Police Association. Chief (Ret.) La Barge has been recognized with numerous awards, including the 2012 Black Business Professional Association Harry Jerome Award for Diversity, the Wilf Wilkinson Rotary Peace Award, the YMCA Peace Medallion, the National Ethnic Press & Media Council of Canada Distinguished Service Award, the Ontario Volunteer Service Award, the Police Exemplary Services Medal and First Bar and the Queen’s Golden and Diamond Jubilee Medals. He is a member of the Special Olympics Hall of Fame, a Paul Harris Fellow, and a member of the Golden Key International Honour Society. He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and he was invested as an Officer of the Order of Police Merit and a Commander in the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem. Mr. Armand holds a B.A. (Hons) degree and a Multicultural Studies Certificate from York University, an Honorary Bachelor of Applied Studies degree from Seneca College, an M.A. in Canadian and Native Studies from Trent University and an Honorary LL.D. from the University of Guelph. Chief (Ret.) La Barge is Immediate Past Chairman and member of the Board of Directors of the St. John Council for Ontario, the Co-Chair of the Association of Progressive Muslims of Canada Advisory Board and he is a member of the Universal Peace Federation. Mr. Armand’s three-year term on the Trent University Board began July 1, 2015 and currently he is the Chair of the Finance and Property Board Committee 2017-18. 

Rod Taylor Appointed as Governor Emeritus 

In approving the appointment of former Board chair Rod Taylor as governor emeritus, the Board of Governors recognized Mr. Taylor’s exemplary service to the Board and the University, his ability and willingness to be an ambassador for Trent and to further the University’s external relationships, and his capacity to continue to add value to the University on a going-forward basis. Mr. Taylor served on the Board for six years and was appointed Board chair in 2016, when he led the development of the Board’s strategic objectives which will guide the University administration’s work to 2022. 

At-Large and Internal Board Appointments

The Board of Governors appointed Debra Cooper-Burger and Julian Smith as at-large members of the Trent University Board of Governors, each for a three-year term commencing July 1, 2018 and ending June 30, 2021.

Debra Cooper-Burger is a health care leader with proven success in health care delivery, development of integrated health care programs and operations responsive to community needs.  She has extensive experience across the full spectrum of health care operations including acute care, long term care and community based programs. Ms. Cooper-Burger started her career in health care as a registered nurse, and has a BSc. (Nursing) from University of Western Ontario, a Master of Continuing Education from University of Calgary and is a graduate of the Advanced Healthcare Leadership Program at the Rotman School of Management. Ms. Cooper-Burger has spent the majority of her career in the local Peterborough community, in leadership roles at the Peterborough County-City Health Unit, and Peterborough Community Access Centre, followed by 8 years as Chief Executive Officer at St. Joseph’s at Fleming. In addition, Ms. Cooper-Burger served as Chief Executive Officer at the Unionville Home Society in Markham (2009-2018), a non-profit organization that oversees care and housing for senior citizens in York Region. Ms. Cooper-Burger currently operates her own consulting service, Cooper Healthcare Consulting, specializing in not-for-profit operations, governance, human resources, policy and procedure development and management, as well as project management for redevelopment construction projects.   

Julian Smith is currently president and CEO of BullWealth, an investment advisory and consulting firm offering solutions to high net worth families, not-for profit organizations and institutional investors. Mr. Smith has over 15 years of investment advisory and investment management experience. He started his career as an investment advisor at Merrill Lynch before leaving to head business development at Charles Schwab Canada. Mr. Smith spent over five years as senior vice-president at Raymond James Ltd. heading its Asset Management and Product Research groups, then left to co‐found a global government bond investment management firm. Mr. Smith’s expertise includes investment advisory, operational management, compliance and risk management, and leadership. Mr. Smith is a graduate of Trent University with a B.Sc. in Economics and holds the CIM® designation (Certified Investment Manager).  In 2017-18, Julian served as an external consultant to the Trent University Investment & Pension Committee.

Internal governors were also appointed to the Board, following an internal online voting process: Stephanie Rutherford, School of the Environment, Kelly Zatorski, Co-op, Careers & Experiential Learning, and Tessa Smith, undergraduate student - Peterborough, English Literature and Gender & Women’s Studies, were declared the successful candidates for the faculty, staff and student seats, respectively.